When I was a kid, my friends and I were definitely Disney’s target market for its blockbuster hit, “Aladdin”. The movie came out in 1992, when I was in elementary school. My parents took me to see the movie in theaters, and then, of course, I had to have my very own copy when it was released on VHS.

jasmine-magiccarperrideAll of us little school girls instantly had a new favorite song, “A Whole New World,” which—to this day—I can still remember an impressive amount of the lyrics to. We dressed up as Princess Jasmine, attended “Aladdin”-themed birthday parties, and drove our parents insane watching and rewatching the movie. We were all in awe of the idea of a magic carpet, and rode our parents’ area rug non-stop, willing it to fly.

The one thing cooler than the idea of a flying rug was—of course—living in a princess’s palace. Our heroine, Princess Jasmine, certainly had an impressive one to call home. While I understand that the palace (unfortunately) isn’t real, that doesn’t stop me from still wanting to live in it 20 years later. So when Movoto Real Estate asked me to evaluate the palace, I jumped on it like it was a magic carpet.

After digging for clues in the sand, I came to the conclusion that Princess Jasmine’s palace is worth $51,856,398. That’s no diamond in the rough friends; it might just be a diamond. So, my fellow “Aladdin” fans, hop on your magic carpets and get ready for a wild ride! Here’s how I did it.

Three Property Evaluation Wishes

To come up with a price tag for Jasmine’s snazzy “little” palace, I rubbed my magic real estate lamp and asked the Movoto genie to kindly grant me the following three wishes:

  • The location of Princess Jasmine’s castle
  • The size of the castle
  • The price of comparable properties

Now, I know you’re all just dying to know what I found, so I’ll start with a little city with a surprisingly familiar sounding name.

Where in the World is Agrabah?

The most challenging aspect of this project was finding a real place to base the Kingdom of Agrabah off of, which is, of course, where Jasmine’s palace, or the Sultan’s Palace was located. As I dug into the research, I learned that Disney literally created “a whole new world,” or at least a whole new kingdom. I’m sad to report that the Kingdom of Agrabah never actually existed.
Still, like blustery Razoul, I soldiered on and sifted through the film for clues as to where Agrabah might be based on. The first major clue to the location came in the film’s opening. The narrator welcomes viewers to Agrabah, the city of mystery, of enchantment, then says this golden phrase: “and the finest merchandise this side of the river Jordan.” After studying my trusty map, I concluded that Agrabah would be situated in the Middle East, as the Jordan River flows through Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.

jasmine-agrabahNext, I used “Arabian Nights”, one of the films most popular songs, to further narrow my search. I assumed the primary population of Agrabah was Arab, meaning the official language was also quite likely Arabic. I then found a 2010 demographic study by the Pew Research Center that stated the Muslim population across the world. I found the Muslim population in Israel and Lebanon is significantly smaller than that of Jordan and Syria, where the vast majority of residents do practice this religion. This narrowed my list of four countries to two: Jordan and Syria.

After pondering the two countries, I went back to the film for a final look, and realized there was one part where Jafar throws Aladdin into an ocean. This was the clincher: Syria is landlocked. Jordan, which is mostly surrounded by land, has a 16-mile span along the Gulf of Aqaba. Obviously, Jordan must be the site of Princess Jasmine’s Palace!

However, I still needed one more valuable piece of information, which, of course, was to pinpoint a city within Jordan. I found only one major city to base Agrabah on: Aqaba, the country’s only coastal city, which just so happens to sound strikingly similar to Agrabah.

At this point, I should note one thing. A lot of fan sites suggest (or downright claim) that the Sultan’s Palace is based on India’s Taj Mahal, even though that beautiful structure is a mausoleum. Still, there is a resemblance that’s hard to ignore. I decided not to use the Taj Mahal as the location of the palace for one major reason: “Aladdin” is a Middle Eastern tale, not Indian.

How Big Is The Sultan’s Palace?

If you haven’t seen “Aladdin” in a while, the Sultan’s Palace is huge. In fact, it dwarfs many of the castles and structures the Movoto blog has tackled. To find out how many square feet Jasmine and her friends have, I got creative. Really creative. Specifically, I measured the gate that leads from Agrabah into the castle. This gate was two stories tall (20 feet) or 26 pixels in this image. This means that each pixel was 0.77 feet wide. I used this to determine the size of the base of the castle, the main structure, and the all the various towers. By my estimates the Sultan’s Palace is 1,152,364 square feet.

The Cost Living in Aqaba

For my final novelty real estate wish, I needed the cost of land in Aqaba, Jordan. Of all the steps, this was the easiest. After doing all the necessary calculations of converting square meters to square feet and the Jordanian Dinar to U.S. dollars, I found that real estate in Jordan is actually very reasonably priced at about $45 per square foot.

Putting It All Together

So how much would the Sultan’s Palace cost? I multiplied the square footage (1,152,364) by the price per square foot ($45) to get a final price of $51,856,380. I know it’s a lot of money, but can you really put a number value on living in such a grand palace? Also, if you think this is pricey now, remember that “Aladdin” was set hundreds or more years ago, so imagine what the Sultan would think if he could see the asking price now!